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Iran rules out talks on nuclear 'rights'

by Staff Writers
Tehran (AFP) May 13, 2008
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday Iran is ready to talk to world powers over global problems but ruled out negotiations over Tehran's nuclear "rights".

"We are ready for talks to resolve world problems and alleviate concerns," Ahmadinejad said in response to a question about a new proposal that world powers are to put forward to resolve the long-running nuclear standoff.

"We are ready to examine with a positive view others' propositions, wherever they come from, and give our opinion," he said.

But asked if Iran would suspend sensitive uranium enrichment work during talks with the world powers, Ahmadinejad said it would refuse to "discuss its rights" in the nuclear programme.

"All we want is our rights and nothing more."

Iran insists it has the right to enrich uranium to make nuclear fuel and has so far defied UN Security Council resolutions which demand a halt to the work.

Highly enriched uranium can also make the fissile core of an atom bomb but Iran insists its nuclear programme is peaceful and has vehemently denied allegation of seeking to make atomic weapons.

Permanent Security Council members Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany have agreed on a "reviewed and updated" offer initially made to Iran in 2006, including economic, security and technological rewards.

No details of the new offer have yet been made public, although Russia has said it asks Iran to suspend uranium enrichment during talks on the proposal.

A new round of technical talks is also under way in Tehran between Iranian officials and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Ahmadinejad said Iran would soon present its own proposed package to "sort out world problems."

"We are going to submit our package to the UN secretary general, to the Security Council presidency, (EU foreign policy chief) Javier Solana, Russia, China and perhaps Switzerland," he said, without further details.

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Outside View: Russian-Iran nuke moves
Moscow (UPI) May 13, 2008
Former Russian President Vladimir Putin's last-minute decision to fulfill U.N. Security Council Resolution 1803 on Iran before handing over power to his successor, President Dmitry Medvedev, surprised many. Has Russia decided to join the U.N. sanctions against the Islamic Republic? Will the new president shift Russia's policy regarding Iran to the West?

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